Britain’s leading Muslim organisation is to issue new guidance to help British Somalis and other individuals and mosques deal with any incidents of hatred emerging in the aftermath of Sir David Amess’s death.
Zara Mohammed, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said that mosques in and around Southend were devastated by the killing of the local MP and “they had regarded him as a member of their family”.
“This is a heinous crime and we utterly condemn it,” Mohammed said. “Nobody in the local Muslim community could believe how anybody could brutally murder anyone, never mind Sir David, who was so engaged with them.”
But she added there was “definitely an apprehension for Muslim communities at this time” after it emerged that Ali Harbi Ali, the 25-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder following the fatal stabbing, came from a British Somali family.
Details about Ali’s motivations remain scarce, although the investigation into Amess’s death at his constituency surgery on Friday lunchtime is being treated by police as terror related following initial questioning of the suspect.
There has been anecdotal evidence of threats against some British Somalis since the tragic incident, Mohammed said, particularly towards “visibly Muslim Somali women” – and against some Somali organisations.